Student numbers continue to drop

18:30, Nov 21 2013

Aoraki Polytechnic student numbers have fallen a quarter below budget and a deficit is forecast of $2.359 million.

The latest report from Aoraki shows at the end of September it was 444 students short of its target of 1773 for the current year. Staff redundancies have already been signalled.

Challenging times have continued for the institution, which is facing its third year of student losses and its second deficit.

In his report to Aoraki Polytechnic Council, acting chief executive Alex Cabrera said strategic alliances and collaborations were being considered.

"I have been meeting with Lincoln University, CPIT and Otago Polytechnic to discuss collaboration opportunities. Discussions continue with these organisations to develop how we can work together so that Aoraki Polytechnic Council will have a sound basis upon which to assess the merits of any initiatives in the report Deloitte is currently developing."

Accounting firm Deloitte is doing an overview of the business. A proposal has been put to staff, with the redundancy of 41 staff to be replaced by 11 positions. A decision would be made soon.

This year's result is on the back of a drop of 144 equivalent full time students (EFTS) last year, though austerity measures enabled the polytech to achieve a break-even financial result. In 2011, Aoraki had a $1.6m deficit and a shortfall of 232 EFTS against budget.


The Timaru Herald